A week in photos – 17 – Back to square one?

As we move to easing lockdown, the ‘new normal’ is increasingly a subject of debate. For example, on BBC Radio 4 a former Tory education minister talked about the undeniable advantages of returning to face-to-face teaching with the teacher in front of the class. But is that where we should go? Shouldn’t we be moving away from frontal delivery of information? This crisis offers a unique opportunity to reconsider the way we do things. However, resetting activities might not imply returning to where we were before, but rather looking for a new starting point. Those who press for a ‘return to normal’ seek to suppress any questioning of the way things were. Far from the normal, the American President’s minders temporarily managed to prevent him organising daily briefings on the virus after he encouraged people to try injecting bleach in their veins. On a personal level, the progressive easing of the lockdown, with an increase in the number of cars and a distinct rise in agitation, leaves me regretting the calm. The quiet, the relative lack of stress, the joyful singing of the birds, the absence of planes in the sky,… Could my reaction be due to my age? Or is there a more general thirst for a less stressful, more peaceful and more caring world? A dream of a lost paradise?

4 Replies to “A week in photos – 17 – Back to square one?”

  1. We find ourselves in a tunnel. The light shines at both ends. The destination ahead is different to the one we left behind. Exciting, frightening and unknown opportunities await. The anticipation is fascinating and far more uplifting than focusing on the walls of the tunnel. May our behaviour on arrival show compassion, respect and sagacity.

    1. Hi Mark. It is only now, nearly five months later, that I see your comment. Thanks for sharing. It’s a striking image, but it’s hard not to want to throw some light on the walls as we move forward. The image of a tunnel seems to imply we have no choice of direction. I don’t see things like that. I fervently believe we need to intervene in the present, even if we don’t know where that might lead us, and to do so we have to try to understand what is happening now and what has happened in the past. But the future is a different beast all together. About leading into the future, I love this book. Presence – Human Purpose and the Field of the Future, Peter Synge, C. Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, Betty Sue Flowers, SoL, Cambridge MA, 2004. I wrote about it here: Leadership, information gathering and the future – What if we’ve got it wrong?

  2. Thanks Alan. I think of the tunnel as time and as such our choice of direction is limited. We can, however adjust our attitude, values and behaviour. These can help us achieve a better future. I’ve certainly changed over these 5 months and hope impact is being felt by some others.

    1. Time is indeed an inexorable march forward. As for the past months, they have changed me too. I find myself reticent to say I’ve grown and developed when others have suffered and died. But these extreme conditions have challenged many a thing we took for granted and shown what immense efforts are possible (even if certain politicians have abused that potential to enrich themselves and their friends)..

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